Discover the History of Kioku Patterns

IPNOTICA

The journey as a memory, as nature, as artistic research. This is where a particular tension between art and nature takes root: Ipnotica first edition from Kioku.

This series of “object-clothes”, born out of an alchemical reinterpretation of memories of travel captured by a camera, tells the story of an unexpected encounter between Japan and the Western American Parks. This inspiration, where reality blends into the dreamworld, gives life to hypnotic designs transposed onto silk twills from ancient silk factories in Como.

The result? A sartorial poem consisting of nine kaleidoscopic patterns spread across twelve outfits, providing the possibility of over one hundred different combinations and allowing the wearer to play with endless interpretations. Here, there are no timings, constraints, or barriers.

The essential proportions, pure volumes, and use of a precious material, namely silk, combined with strictly Italian craftsmanship constitute the heart of this project, which features clothes with a soft line that, underlining forms without defining them, gently sway and flutter on the body, following its movements as nature’s truest ideal of grace.

What emerges is a natural silhouette, as fine and gentle as a pencil stroke, in which aesthetic clarity melds with hypnotic labyrinths of colour which occasionally reflect energetic bursts of light or the delicacy of a flower whose handsome petals take on different shades in the light of a sunrise or sunset. Such is the case with the pinkish hues of Hanami Blossom, formed by mandala-carpets of cherry blossom petals, or the iridescent green reflections that explode in Green Heights, a journey through the centuries-old sequoias of the American park named for its stately residents.

In a fluid and free association, the words of Roland Barthes – as written in the Empire of Signs – come to mind here: “from that part of the world – down there – I can take a certain number of traits and use them to deliberately make a system”. At once modern and timeless.

IKI

“Iki is the quintessence of seduction – it takes no account of the mediocre certainties of reality, but rather dares to put real life in parentheses, and as, detached, it breathes in that pure, clean air, it indulges in a game all its own”.

Kuki Shūzō, The Structure of the Iki, 1930

In his brief treatise on iki – a Japanese term which evades translation – Eastern philosopher Kuki Shūzō touches upon every facet of the word’s meaning, finally suggesting that its truest expression is to be found in the indescribable charm of the geisha, whose very gait and gestures, flawless hairstyle and elegant outfits all leave whispers of it in their wake. Its enchanting touch is most strongly felt in the amber-coloured geometric patterns which adorn their robes. Finally, this elusive idea has been given shape in the new edition of Kioku’s range of prints and clothes – a collection which travels around the world in search of creatures whose very being suggests a certain grace.

The enchantment opens on Cherry Blossom, a design which, through the lens of an alchemical photographic reworking which is the stylistic signature of Alessandro Cidda, founder and designer of the brand, explores the carpets of cherry blossom petals which, every April as if by clockwork, cover the avenue in front of the Todai-ji temple in Nara, the ancient capital of Japan. Our journey then continues through a selection of eight other patterns, starting from El Cap, which is redolent of the majestic rocks of California’s Yosemite National Park. Closely following the shimmering reflections of that most primary of elements, the earth, comes the rarefied elegance of the wildlife prints which feature the giraffes and felines that made many journeys through the African wilderness magical. At once simple and sophisticated, the twelve looks which star in this adventure through the imagination lend their charm to 108 garments which can be freely combined under a single common element, namely silk, available in two precious styles. On the one hand, the baggy tunics, airy blouses and generous twill trousers whose flowing purity is evocative of an elegant minimalism. On the other, the stretchy satin under-dresses which, as they echo every last movement of the body, seem to be a hymn to contemporary divinities.